Answers to Common Questions Regarding your
2018 Second-Installment Tax Bill, Payable in 2019

Incorrect/missing tax bill questions. 2

I did not receive my tax bill. What do I do?. 2

My name and/or mailing address is wrong on my tax bill. How do I get this corrected?. 2

Missing exemptions on tax bills. 2

I did not receive my Homeowner Exemption on my tax bill. What do I do?. 2

I did not receive my Senior Citizen Exemption on my tax bill. What do I do?. 3

I did not receive my Senior Freeze Exemption on my tax bill. What do I do?. 3

I did not receive my Disabled Persons Exemption on my tax bill. What do I do?. 4

I did not receive my Disabled Veterans Exemption on my tax bill. What do I do?. 5

I did not receive my Returning Veterans Exemption on my tax bill. What do I do?. 5

Calculating a Tax Bill 6

How is my residential tax bill calculated?. 6

Questions about Increases in Your Tax Bill 8

Why has my tax bill increased this year - especially considering what has occurred in the market in the last several years?. 8

My neighbor's home is identical to mine, yet my bill is higher. Why?. 9

Assessment and Appeal Questions. 9

Can I file an appeal now after I received my tax bill?. 9

I have an appeal currently being worked. Should I pay the bill I just received?. 10

Do I need a lawyer to file an appeal?. 10

PIN and Classification Questions. 10

I do not know my Property Index Number (PIN). How can I obtain it?. 10

I do not think my PIN is valid. 11

I have two PINs for my property and think I am being charged twice. 11

I would like more information regarding my property's classification. 11

Legal Payments and Legal Descriptions. 11

My parcel has not been assigned a PIN yet. How do I pay my tax bill by legal description?. 11

Where do I get a copy of the legal description for my property?. 12

I need to verify ownership of a piece of property, if it has foreclosed, or if there has been a lien. What office should I call?. 12

How do I get my property location corrected?. 12

Certificates of Error. 13

General information on seeking corrections through Certificates of Error 13

FAQs: Certificates of Error for Valuations and Exemptions. 14

Do I need to send this Certificate of Error Recommended Tax Bill to my mortgage company?. 14

Did I save any money?. 14

I paid the original tax bill already. How long before I receive a refund?. 14

Do I need to fill out an application with the Cook County Treasurer's Office to receive a refund?. 14

Office Locations and Contact Information. 13

 


Incorrect/missing tax bill questions

I did not receive my tax bill. What do I do?

 

The Cook County Treasurer's Office mails tax bills and collects payments. For tax information and/or a copy of your bill, you must contact the Cook County Treasurer's Office at 312-443-5100 or visit their website at:

www.cookcountytreasurer.com

 

My name and/or mailing address is wrong on my tax bill. How do I get this corrected?

 

To change a name or a mailing address on a bill, you must contact the Cook County Treasurer's Office at 312-443-5100. You may also visit their website at www.cookcountytreasurer.com.

 

Missing exemptions on tax bills

 

I did not receive my Homeowner Exemption on my tax bill. What do I do?

 

If you did not receive your Homeowner Exemption, follow this link and you can download a Homeowner Exemption Certificate of Error form.

 

http://www.cookcountyassessor.com/assets/forms/HoCofE.pdf

 

Once you complete the form, you may mail it back with any necessary supporting documentation, or you may visit our downtown office, our suburban branch offices, or any of the suburban township assessor offices.

 

Time permitting, you may receive an adjusted bill and pay a reduced amount reflecting your omitted exemption(s). You may mail the Certificate of Error application to our office and an adjusted bill will be mailed back to you. You may also visit our downtown office or any of our suburban branch offices to receive an adjusted bill on the spot. (Our office locations are listed at the end of this document.) Be sure to provide your mortgage company with a copy of your adjusted bill/Certificate of Error.

 

If you were eligible to receive the Homeowner Exemption in prior years as well, you may complete applications to receive up to three years of refunds for missing exemptions.

 

The mailing address is:

 

Cook County Assessor

Exemption Processing Dept.

118 N. Clark Street

Chicago, Illinois 60602

 

Once you apply for the Certificate of Error, you will receive a refund from the Cook County Treasurer's Office in 6 to 8 weeks. To inquire regarding the status of your refund, please contact the Cook County Treasurer at 312-443-5100.

 

I did not receive my Senior Citizen Exemption on my tax bill. What do I do?

 

If you did not receive your Senior Citizen Exemption, follow this link and you can download a Senior Citizen Exemption Certificate of Error form.

 

http://www.cookcountyassessor.com/assets/forms/HsCofE.pdf

 

Once you complete the form, you may mail it back with any necessary supporting documentation, or you may visit our downtown office, our suburban branch offices, or any of the suburban township assessor offices.

 

If you were eligible to receive the Senior Freeze Exemption in prior years as well, you may complete applications to receive up to three years of refunds for missing exemptions. These forms are not online. To apply for the Senior Freeze Exemption in tax years 2015, 2016, and 2017, please visit our office or call us.

 

 

Time permitting, you may receive an adjusted bill and pay a reduced amount reflecting your omitted exemption(s). You may mail the Certificate of Error application to our office and an adjusted bill will be mailed back to you. You may also visit our downtown office or any of our suburban branch offices to receive an adjusted bill on the spot. (Our office locations are listed at the end of this document.) Be sure to provide your mortgage company with a copy of your adjusted bill/Certificate of Error.

 

 

The mailing address is:

 

Cook County Assessor

Exemption Processing Dept.

118 N. Clark Street

Chicago, Illinois 60602

 

Once you apply for the Certificate of Error, you will receive a refund from the Cook County Treasurer's Office in 6 to 8 weeks. To inquire regarding the status of your refund, please contact the Cook County Treasurer at 312-443-5100.

 

State law requires annual applications for the Senior Citizen Exemption. If you apply for the Senior Exemption, you will automatically receive the Homeowner Exemption.

 

I did not receive my Senior Freeze Exemption on my tax bill. What do I do?

 

If you did not receive your Senior Freeze Exemption for tax year 2018 and would like to apply for it, follow this link and you can download a Senior Freeze Exemption Application form.

 

http://www.cookcountyassessor.com/assets/forms/SRFrz.pdf

 

If you apply for and receive the Senior Freeze Exemption, your property will automatically receive the Senior and Homeowner Exemptions as well.

 

Once you complete the form, you may mail it back with any necessary supporting documentation, or you may visit our downtown office, our suburban branch offices, or any of the suburban township assessor offices.

 

Time permitting, you may receive an adjusted bill and pay a reduced amount reflecting your omitted exemption(s). You may mail the Senior Freeze application to our office and an adjusted bill will be mailed back to you. You may also visit our downtown office or any of our suburban branch offices to receive an adjusted bill on the spot. (Our office locations are listed at the end of this document.) Be sure to provide your mortgage company with a copy of your adjusted bill.

  

The mailing address is:

 

Cook County Assessor

Exemption Processing Dept.

118 N. Clark Street

Chicago, Illinois 60602

 

If we receive your application and it is too close to the tax bill due date of August 1 to calculate and send you an adjusted bill, it is not too late to receive the exemption for tax year 2018. You can pay your tax bill on time and then apply for the Senior Freeze Exemption, and then receive a refund. Once you receive the Senior Freeze, you will receive a refund from the Cook County Treasurer's Office in 6 to 8 weeks. To inquire regarding the status of your refund, please contact the Cook County Treasurer at 312-443-5100.

 

If you were eligible to receive the Senior Freeze Exemption in prior years as well, you may complete applications to receive up to three years of refunds for missing exemptions. These forms are now online: ((With links to the 2015, 2016, 2017 senior citizen C of E listed)) .

I did not receive my Disabled Persons Exemption on my tax bill. What do I do?

 

If you did not receive your Disabled Persons Exemption, you can download a Disabled Exemption form at the link below.

 

http://www.cookcountyassessor.com/assets/forms/DisabledPersonsEx.pdf

 

Once you complete the form, you may mail it back with any necessary supporting documentation, or you may visit our downtown office, our suburban branch offices, or any of the suburban township assessor offices.

 

Time permitting, you may receive an adjusted bill and pay a reduced amount reflecting your omitted exemption(s). You may mail the Certificate of Error application to our office and an adjusted bill will be mailed back to you. You may also visit our downtown office or any of our suburban branch offices to receive an adjusted bill on the spot. (Our office locations are listed at the end of this document.) Be sure to provide your mortgage company with a copy of your adjusted bill/Certificate of Error.

 

If you were eligible to receive the Disabled Persons Exemption in prior years as well, you may complete applications to receive up to three years of refunds for missing exemptions.

 

The mailing address is:

 

Cook County Assessor

Exemption Processing Dept.

118 N. Clark Street

Chicago, Illinois 60602

 

Once you apply for the Certificate of Error, you will receive a refund from the Cook County Treasurer's Office in 6 to 8 weeks. To inquire regarding the status of your refund, please contact the Cook County Treasurer at 312-443-5100.

 

I did not receive my Disabled Veterans Exemption on my tax bill. What do I do?

 

If you did not receive your Disabled Veterans Exemption, you can download a Disabled Veterans Exemption form.

 

http://www.cookcountyassessor.com/assets/forms/DisabledVeteransEx.pdf

 

Once you complete the form, you may mail it back with any necessary supporting documentation, or you may visit our downtown office, our suburban branch offices, or any of the suburban township assessor offices.

 

Time permitting, you may receive an adjusted bill and pay a reduced amount reflecting your omitted exemption(s). You may mail the Certificate of Error application to our office and an adjusted bill will be mailed back to you. You may also visit our downtown office or any of our suburban branch offices to receive an adjusted bill on the spot. (Our office locations are listed at the end of this document.) Be sure to provide your mortgage company with a copy of your adjusted bill/Certificate of Error.

 

If you were eligible to receive the Disabled Veterans Exemption in prior years as well, you may complete applications to receive up to three years of refunds for missing exemptions.

 

The mailing address is:

 

Cook County Assessor

Exemption Processing Dept.

118 N. Clark Street

Chicago, Illinois 60602

 

Once you apply for the Certificate of Error, you will receive a refund from the Cook County Treasurer's Office in 6 to 8 weeks. To inquire regarding the status of your refund, please contact the Cook County Treasurer at 312-443-5100.

 

I did not receive my Returning Veterans Exemption on my tax bill. What do I do?

 

If you did not receive your Returning Veterans Exemption, you can download a form.

 

http://www.cookcountyassessor.com/assets/forms/ReturningVeteransEx.pdf

 

Once you complete the form, you may mail it back with any necessary supporting documentation, or you may visit our downtown office, our suburban branch offices, or any of the suburban township assessor offices.

 

Time permitting, you may receive an adjusted bill and pay a reduced amount reflecting your omitted exemption(s). You may mail the Certificate of Error application to our office and an adjusted bill will be mailed back to you. You may also visit our downtown office or any of our suburban branch offices to receive an adjusted bill on the spot. (Our office locations are listed at the end of this document.) Be sure to provide your mortgage company with a copy of your adjusted bill/Certificate of Error.

 

If you were eligible to receive the Returning Veterans Exemption in prior years as well, you may receive up to three years of refunds for missing exemptions in prior years.

 

The mailing address is:

 

Cook County Assessor

Exemption Processing Dept.

118 N. Clark Street

Chicago, Illinois 60602

 

Once you apply for the Certificate of Error, you will receive a refund from the Cook County Treasurer's Office in 6 to 8 weeks. To inquire regarding the status of your refund, please contact the Cook County Treasurer at 312-443-5100.

 

Calculating a Tax Bill

 

How is my residential tax bill calculated?

cccalc

Your property tax bill represents your share of the budgets approved by local taxing bodies for their operations. Property taxes are one of the main sources of funding for local government services, such as park districts, fire districts, and public education. Your bill depends on more than your property assessment: it also depends on the funds these local government services need to operate.

Property tax bills are mailed twice a year. Your first-installment is due at the beginning of March. By law, the first-installment property tax bill is exactly 55% percent of the previous year's total tax amount. The second-installment property tax bill is mailed and due in late summer; it reflects new tax rates, levies, assessments, and any tax exemptions for which you have qualified and applied.

The following is an example of how an estimated tax bill is calculated.

To calculate your tax bill, tax rates are not applied to the reassessed estimated value of your home. Tax rates are applied to the Equalized Assessed Value (EAV), which is the partial value of your property. Also note that exemption dollar amounts do not subtract from your tax bill; they subtract from the EAV before your tax bill is calculated. [Figures are approximate, based on samples of MV, EAV and a local Tax Rate. The State Equalizer shown is current until May 2020.]

 

$100,000

 

Estimated Market Value

X.10

 

Assessment Level (10%)

$10,000

 

Proposed Assessed Valuation

X 2.9109

 

 State Equalizer

$29,109

 

Equalized Assessed Value

-10,000

 

Homeowner Exemption

$19,109

 

Adjusted Equalized Assessed Value

X.10

 

Sample Tax Rate (your tax rate could vary)

$1910.90

 

Estimated Tax Bill in dollars

 

calc

Questions about Increases in Your Tax Bill

Why has my tax bill increased this year - especially considering what has occurred in the market in the last several years?

 

The real estate market in Cook County is regaining much of its strength following the broad decline in previous years. The good news for a property owner is that your home is worth more. The bad news is that your home is worth more. In other words, increased market value logically requires increases in assessed value.

 

The Assessor does not decide the amount of your tax bill. His job is to only determine fair market value for your property. Local tax rates and the state equalizer used to compute your bill are set by cities, townships and the State of Illinois.

 

It is also very important to ensure that you are receiving all the money saving exemptions to which you are entitled. Exemptions may save you hundreds of dollars on your tax bill. (See the section on exemptions which details steps to take if you did not receive an exemption you were entitled to on your second-installment tax bill).

 

If you believe your home's Assessed Value should be lower, you may file an appeal. Homeowners do not need an attorney to appeal and there is no fee involved. The Assessor's Office has made the appeal process easier, more transparent and open by publicly posting the rules for appeals. He believes your appeal is an important step in ensuring that no one pays more than his or her fair share of property taxes.


You can file an appeal only during the period when your township is currently open for appeals. Please check our website for 2019 filing dates and deadlines for your township by visiting this link: http://www.cookcountyassessor.com/Appeals/Appeal-Deadlines.aspx

 

My neighbor's home is identical to mine, yet my bill is higher. Why?

 

When comparing total tax dollars due, it is important to review the exemptions that were applied to a property. Two homes may have similar assessed values but total tax bill amounts may differ due to exemptions applied to the property. Your neighbor may be eligible for additional exemptions such as the Senior Exemption, Senior Freeze Exemption etc. It is also very important to remember that exemption amounts often differ depending on when a home is purchased.

 

Another factor to be considered is that your neighbor may have filed an appeal with the Cook County Board of Review and received a decrease in the assessed value of his or her home from that agency.

 

 

Assessment and Appeal Questions

 

Can I file an appeal now after I received my tax bill?

 

If you believe your home's Assessed Value should be lower, you may file an appeal. Homeowners do not need an attorney to appeal and there is no fee involved. The Assessor's Office has made the appeal process easier, more transparent and open by publicly posting the rules for appeals. He believes your appeal is an important step in ensuring that no one pays more than his or her fair share of property taxes.

 

You can file an appeal but only if your township is currently open for appeals. Please check our website for 2019 filing dates and deadlines for your township by visiting the following link.

 

http://www.cookcountyassessor.com/Appeals/Appeal-Deadlines.aspx

 

If your township is open for appeals at this time, you can follow this link to download a residential appeal form.

 

http://www.cookcountyassessor.com/assets/forms/resappeal.pdf

 

If you miss the Assessor's appeal deadline date, you may file an appeal with the Cook County Board of Review. Their phone number is 312-603-5542. You can call them and inquire when your township is open for appeals with their agency.

 

Please Note: You receive a reassessment notice notifying you of any changes in the assessed value of your property the year before any changes are reflected on your second-installment tax bill. That is the time to appeal your assessment.

 

Any change in assessment as a result of an appeal filed in 2019 will not be reflected until your second-installment tax bill next year in 2020.

 

All first installment bills are by law, 55% of the total taxes paid the previous year. Any changes in assessment from the previous year and all exemptions appear on second installment bills.

 

I have an appeal currently being worked. Should I pay the bill I just received?

 

The appeal that you currently have in the system is a 2019 appeal. Any change in assessed value as a result of that appeal will be reflected on your second-installment tax bill in 2020.

 

If you do receive a decrease in assessment on your current appeal and it is based on a lack of uniformity (your home is over assessed based on the values of similar homes in the area) then by law, you cannot receive Certificates of Error (refunds for prior years.)

 

The law only allows refunds for prior years when there are factual errors such as errors in the classification of the property or an error in the square footage. If that is the case with your appeal and your value is decreased due to a factual error, you may request Certificates of Errors for up to three years, if eligible.

 

If it is a uniformity appeal, you will only receive relief for the current year appeal - and that will be reflected on your second-installment bill next year. If there is a factual error, you may file a current year appeal when your township is open for appeals and request certificates of error with that current year appeal.

 

Regardless, you must pay the bill you have on hand.

 

Do I need a lawyer to file an appeal?

 

Homeowners do not have to hire an attorney to file an appeal and there is no fee involved. Assessor Kaegi has worked to make the process more transparent and open. He believes the appeal process is an important step in ensuring that no one pays more than his or her fair share of property taxes.

 

PIN and Classification Questions

 

I do not know my Property Index Number (PIN). How can I obtain it?

 

You may locate your property index number on the following:

  • your tax bill,
  • your property deed,
  • your closing documents from the purchase of your home,
  • your reassessment notice,
  • notices from the Assessor's Office if the underlying parcel has been divided, (i.e. condominiums, new subdivisions) and
  • You may also visit the Assessor's website to search for your PIN by typing in your address. The web address is www.cookcountyassessor.com. Hit the search tab, then the property tab, and then click on property address search. Input your house number (omitting the box that states house range), include your street name, your city, and hit search.

I do not think my PIN is valid.

 

Did your property recently undergo a division or a consolidation and were new PIN(s) given? You may contact our Divisions Department directly for more information regarding a possible new PIN. That department can be reached directly at 312-603-7506.

 

I have two PINs for my property and think I am being charged twice.

 

Your property is most likely prorated over two parcels. This does not mean you are paying more in taxes, it simply means that your home straddles two parcels and a portion of the assessment is allocated between those two parcels. This results in two separate PIN numbers. You may contact our Divisions Department at 312-603-7506 to request to consolidate the two PIN's. This will not affect the amount of your overall assessment however.

 

I would like more information regarding my property's classification.

 

This link will take you to a list of the different residential property classifications

http://www.cookcountyassessor.com/assets/forms/classcode.pdf

 

Legal Payments and Legal Descriptions

 

My parcel has not been assigned a PIN yet. How do I pay my tax bill by legal description?

 

Often, shortly after a property is developed or re-developed, individual parcels are not readily assigned their own property index numbers. The developer may have requested to divide the property into individual PIN(S) but his or her request may still be pending approval.

 

In such cases, each owner is responsible for timely payment of his or her portion of taxes but need not pay the entire tax bill for the full property. The process for making such payments is commonly referred to as "payment by legal description." Through this process, individual owners pay the taxes only for the portion of the property they own and this protects their ownership rights even if the other owners of the other portions of the same PIN fail to pay. Property owners who need to pay real estate taxes by legal description must make a formal request with the Cook County Assessor's Office at 312-603-6526. The Assessment by Legal Application may also be found on the assessor's website at:

http://www.cookcountyassessor.com/assets/forms/assessbylegal.pdf

 

Where do I get a copy of the legal description for my property?

 

In order to obtain a legal description of your property, you must contact the Cook County Clerk's Department (the Mapping Department) at 312-603-5640. It also is located on your warranty deed.

 

I need to verify ownership of a piece of property, if it has foreclosed, or if there has been a lien. What office should I call?

 

To verify ownership of a piece of property, if a property has foreclosed, or if there is a lien on a property, you must contact the Cook County Recorder of Deeds Office at 312-603-5050.

 

Incorrect Property Description on Tax Bill

 

How do I get my property location corrected?

 

To change a property's location, please download a property location correction form from our website. The form is listed under the forms section on our website in the sub area named miscellaneous. After submitting that form to the Cook County Assessor's Office, the property's location can be corrected.

 

This is the link to download the form:

 

http://www.cookcountyassessor.com/assets/forms/PropertyLocation.pdf

 

The mailing address is listed in the upper right hand corner of the form.

Certificates of Error

 

General information on seeking corrections through Certificates of Error

 

Taxpayers may seek corrections through Certificate of Error application forms, filed at the Cook County Assessor's Office with supporting documentation. For residential property owners, supporting documentation must be filed once. For other taxpayers, supporting documentation must be filed in triplicate. Certificate of Error forms may be found online at:
http://sub.cookcountyassessor.com/PdfForms/CofE-Forms.aspx

 

An application for a Certificate of Error may be filed with a current year assessment appeal, or on its own, but generally must be filed within the period permitted for a taxpayer to file an appeal under the Township schedule posted on the Assessor's website.

http://sub.cookcountyassessor.com/Appeals/Appeal-Deadlines.aspx

If a taxpayer seeks a change based on the exempt status of property, an incentive classification, or the application of a homestead exemption, including homestead, senior, senior freeze, veterans, disabled and disabled veterans, the application may be filed at any time.

In some cases, Certificates of Error require approval from the Cook County Board of Review (Board of Review) or the Circuit Court of Cook County in addition to the Assessor. In those cases, applications will require additional time to process.

 

The Illinois Property Tax Code authorizes Certificates of Error where the Assessor discovers an error or mistake in the assessment. 35 ILCS 200/14-15 provides in part:

 

Sec. 14-15. Certificate of error; counties of 3,000,000 or more.
(a) In counties with 3,000,000 or more inhabitants, if, after the assessment is certified pursuant to Section 16-150, but subject to the limitations of subsection (c) of this Section, the county assessor discovers an error or mistake in the assessment, the assessor shall execute a certificate setting forth the nature and cause of the error. �

(c) No certificate of error, other than a certificate to establish an exemption under Section 14-25, shall be executed for any tax year more than 3 years after the date on which the annual judgment and order of sale for that tax year was first entered.

 

The Assessor's authority under this provision provides a means of correcting errors or mistakes in assessments, after assessments are set, reviewed by the Assessor and Board of Review, and certified for taxation purposes. If a taxpayer is not satisfied with assessments set by the Assessor and reviewed by the Board of Review, the taxpayer also may consider other remedies available in the Illinois Property Tax Code.

 

FAQs: Certificates of Error for Valuations and Exemptions

 

Do I need to send this Certificate of Error Recommended Tax Bill to my mortgage company?

No. You are all set. Your mortgage company automatically receives the adjusted tax bill amount from the Cook County Treasurer's Office before they make a payment.

 

Did I save any money?

Your savings will be shown on the right hand side of the Certificate of Error Recommended Tax Bill (the difference between the total original tax and the total recommended tax).

 

I paid the original tax bill already. How long before I receive a refund?

For a valuation-related Certificate of Error, it will take up to 180 days for the Assessor's Office to certify your Certificate of Error Recommended Tax Bill. Once certified, the Cook County Treasurer's office will issue the refund within 10 days.

For an exemption-related Certificate of Error, it will take up to 60 days for the Assessor's Office to certify your Certificate of Error Recommended Tax Bill. Once certified, the Cook County Treasurer's office will issue the refund within 10 days.

 

Do I need to fill out an application with the Cook County Treasurer's Office to receive a refund?

No. You are all set. If you or your mortgage company paid the original tax amount in full, the Cook County Treasurer's Office will issue a refund in the amount of the difference.

 

 

Office Locations and Contact Information

 

Downtown Office

118 N. Clark Street

Room 320 Chicago, IL 60602

312-443-7550

 

Bridgeview Branch Office

10200 South 76th Avenue

Room #237

Bridgeview, IL 60455

708-974-6451

 

Markham Branch Office

16501 S. Kedzie Ave.

Markham, IL 60426

708-232-4100

 

Skokie Branch Office

5600 W. Old Orchard Rd.
Room #149
Skokie, IL 60077 Phone: 847-470-7237

In suburban areas, assistance is also available at local township assessors' offices.